Founder of Play)A(Skool Indicted After Major Drug Trafficking Bust [Update]


Thanks to the chief Anonymous Burner for giving us this tip. Play)A(Skool founder Scott Pack, whose past experience includes spooky firms like Booz, Allen & Hamilton (the world’s most profitable spy organization), SERCO (run by Winston Churchill’s grandson), and the Naval Surface Warfare Command, has been indicted in the largest ever fraud case in the Colorado pot business. Pack is accused of securities fraud, money laundering, racketeering, forgery, tax evasion, and conspiracy – and collaborating with corrupt former police officers.

Pack was charged with 11 felonies:

  • Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA;
  • two counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana;
  • conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants;
  • two counts of securities fraud;
  • money laundering;
  • forgery;
  • tax evasion;
  • and attempt to influence a public official.

A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million. [Source]

According to Westword, Pack denies all allegations against him:

“We have structured our business abiding by the governing laws and regulations, and there is no reason why we would need to deceive our stakeholders, who still hold value in our company. We deny the allegations in this case, which will easily be proven false once facts and evidence are revealed in court.”

[Source]

It all began at Burning Man, according to a civil lawsuit against Pack and his accomplices:

Screenshot 2017-07-06 15.21.28

[Source]

From the Playaskool website:

Few people realize that PlayaSkool began when a large group of us were “priced out” of our seed camps.  In order to decrease the number of people in these camps we had participated in, the organizers raised their dues dramatically in hopes to “cull out” those who didn’t have the money to belong.  A group of seven incredible leaders — Michael HendersonNicole Schmidt, Scott Pack, Jay RockliffeEmre ÖzaltinAnnette Özaltin and myself banded together to create PlayaSkool and a platform to bring together our friends from around the world to share their experiences and bring those back to their communities — to “bridge the gap” between the playa and the real world.

scott.pack.png

Reblogged from The Cannabist:


A former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer and a Denver-based marijuana entrepreneur already the target of fraud allegations were indicted in connection with a suspected massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring that operated throughout the state.

A grand jury cast a wider net after the March indictments of 16 people in an allegedly illegal marijuana trafficking ring led by Michael Stonehouse, and on June 7 indicted former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) officer Renee Rayton and three others. According to court records and the indictment obtained by The Cannabist, warrants were filed for the arrest of Rayton; entrepreneur Scott Pack, whose businesses Harmony Green LLC and HGCO LLC also were charged; and Travis Bridle and John Edward Loos, both growers and suspected middlemen in the operation.

Pack, whose businesses hold 14 marijuana licenses, played a “pivotal” role in the Stonehouse drug-trafficking organization responsible for illegally producing and selling millions of dollars worth of marijuana across state lines, according to the grand jury’s indictment. Earlier this year — in a lawsuit first reported in April by Denver Westword — Pack and Rudy Saenz, who was indicted in March, were sued by former investors who claimed they lost close to $1 million because of the duo’s fraudulent scheme.

Investigators claim that Rayton, a former Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputy who joined Colorado’s MED in 2015, left her enforcement division job in the fall of 2016 after Pack offered her a 6-month, $8,000-per-month position as a compliance consultant. She started working for Pack — and pocketing cash from illegal operations — barely two weeks after leaving her post, investigators allege, in violation of state licensing policies requiring a six-month “cooling off” period before former employees can work in an industry related to their oversight.

During her involvement with Pack and his Harmony & Green businesses, Rayton also told a source that she was aware of compliance breaches and said “that she knew ‘(Department of Revenue) employees’ who would help the (drug-trafficking organization) ‘get legal,’” according to the indictment.

Officials for the 18th Judicial District in Arapahoe County said they do not comment on open cases. Pack, Rayton, Bridle and Loos could not be immediately reached for comment.

A spokeswoman for the state’s marijuana regulatory agency said via email that MED was “actively engaged” in the investigation. She also noted that Rayton’s alleged illegal activity occurred after she left her job on Nov. 2, 2016.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we requested that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conduct a formal and independent investigation involving matters related to the Marijuana Enforcement Division,” said Lynn Granger, communications director for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees MED.

Rayton was charged with violation of state licensing authority and conspiracy to commit the cultivation of more than 30 plants of marijuana. She was released after posting a $5,000 bond, court records show.

Pack was charged with 11 counts, all felonies: Pattern of racketeering under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act; conspiracy/endeavoring under COCCA; two counts of conspiracy to distribute or possess or intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana; conspiracy to commit cultivation of marijuana more than 30 plants; two counts of securities fraud; money laundering; forgery; tax evasion; and attempt to influence a public official. A warrant is out for his arrest, and his bond has been set at $1 million, court records show.

Pack’s companies were charged with: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana; cultivation of 30-plus marijuana plants; and two counts of securities fraud.

Bridle and Loos, who investigators alleged illegally cultivated marijuana for sale out of state, also served as middlemen in the shipments and payments, the indictment claimed.

Loos was charged with two counts: conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute 50 pounds or more of marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to court records. Bridle was charged with conspiracy to distribute, distribution of 50 pounds or more of marijuana, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bond for each was set at $250,000 and warrants have been issued for their arrests.

‘A front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization’

Pack and Saenz were 50-50 partners in Harmony & Green LLC, an asset holding company and licensing business; Pack created HGCO to obtain marijuana licenses, according to allegations in the June 7 indictment. During the course of two years, Pack obtained 14 marijuana licenses for the firm, but he kept Saenz’s identity as an owner cloaked from the state.

Pack never disclosed to the state that his business partner was a man who was barred from obtaining a marijuana license nor that there were investments made from out of state or country, investigators allege.

Harmony & Green’s scheme involved soliciting investors for money to build out warehouses that had been leased or bought by Pack’s father, Michael Pack. The younger Pack and Saenz deceived investors, saying they had invested millions of their own money when they had not, and they misrepresented a $678,000 annual revenue stream that did not legally exist, according to the indictment.

Under the guise of a licensed Colorado cannabis business, Harmony & Green and HGCO served as a front for the drug-trafficking organization, investigators claim, noting that the businesses never made a single legal sale of cannabis in their two years of operation.

Pack and Saenz reeled in $1 million during 2016 from the illegal distribution of marijuana, investigators allege.

“All of this was done under Scott Pack and Rudy Saenz’s scheme of using HGCO LLC as a shell company, which essentially provided licenses that Harmony & Green LLC could never hold,” investigators alleged. “Harmony & Green LLC then scammed unknowing individuals into investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company, which never once sold legal marijuana in the state of Colorado, but provided a front for a successful illegal marijuana trafficking organization.”

Eight of the 16 people indicted held active or expired licenses for operating a marijuana business in Colorado, The Denver Post reported in March.

The story has garnered national attention, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited The Denver Post in a recent letter to Congress framing his opposition to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prevents Justice Department funds from being used for prosecutions in states with medical marijuana laws. The letter dated May 1, 2017, was published Monday by MassRoots, a marijuana social media company.

“Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote. “In particular, Cuban, Asian, Caucasian and Eurasian criminal organizations have established marijuana operations in state-approved marijuana markets. The individuals in these organizations often find a place for themselves within state regulatory systems.”

[Source: The Cannabist]


[Update 7/7/17]

We received this comment on Facebook from Zoë Brock, who I can confirm is not the Anonymous Burner source who originally tipped us off to this story.

Zoë Brock I’ve had a couple of people reach out to me in the last day or two and suggest that I am responsible for this article or other aspects of Scott Pack’s astonishing downfall. Amazingly, I’m not (amazing because I didn’t even think of it, NOT because there aren’t plenty of people who would feel justified and motivated enough to feed Burners.Me the story).

For the record, I have no idea if Scott Pack is guilty or innocent. I worked for his company in marketing, brand and design (and glorified personal assistant/social organizer/fuck bunny – doing whatever I could to support my then boyfriend). It was my job to make everything look beautiful and try to keep him on track to uphold the corporate integrity I wrote for the company’s culture and mission. Clearly I failed, and for that I would like to extend my sincere apologies to all the people who invested in his company. I’m sorry. Looking back I can see that the corporate ethos that was peddled to you reflected my own integrity and ideals, not those of its CEO. I’m embarrassed and sad that I ever had anything to do with Mr Pack on a personal level, or his company on a professional one. I wish I could erase him from my life forever.

I do have an opinion on Scott’s guilt/innocence with these indictments but it is based solely on my own experiences of his character (or lack thereof) and the statements of several people who have approached me since the indictments came down and told me what they know. It doesn’t look good, but in this new Trump world anything is possible.

I have mediocre faith in the judicial system and if Mr Pack is innocent I assume he will be found so. If he is found guilty I have no doubt that he will continue to cry “witch hunt” and “fake news” and other Trumpian things.

Mr Pack has recently asked me to stop posting negatively about him and hurting his standing in “The Community”. My response to that is – stop behaving negatively. I’m not putting any kind of spin on things, I’m simply stating the facts. The facts are that this man lied to everyone he has ever met about the state of his marriage and the character of his poor wife. He lied about the state of our relationship and my character. He has assassinated the characters of many of his friends and colleagues behind their backs – and yet demands loyalty from everyone or else they are “dead to (him)”, and now he has been indicted on criminal charges.

There are many people who might be the Anonymous Burner mentioned in this article. I have an inkling that it was a band of brothers (and sisters) fed up with the arrogance, manipulations, double standards, lies, misogyny, objectification and the abject lack of accountability and complete victim mentality of this poor little rich boy from San Diego.

I’d like to say thanks to Anonymous Burner for aiding the karmic hammer on its path, for I know that there is nothing more important to Mr Pack than his reputation. Nothing.

Which brings me to my point. If you, singularly or as a community, want to see him evolve and be a better person, then hold him accountable. Don’t let him make excuses for his shit and blame other people anymore. Don’t let him pass the buck. Don’t pat him on the back and tell him everything will be ok or indulge his victim mentality. Don’t just anonymously fill his RV with trash at the end of the Burn as a message for him (that was crazy, yo – but I had to clean that shit up!). Tell him. Tell him face to face what a gigantic, mean, demoralizing asshole he is to work with/under/build a camp with. Tell him you think cheating on his wife is immoral and ugly. Make him aware that saying vicious things about womens genitals behind their backs after sleeping with them is disgusting and ungentlemanly. Make sure he knows that letting women have unprotected sex with him and someone he knows has HIV is downright illegal and fucking horrifying. Communicate to him how fucked up it is to string his girlfriend along for years thinking she is supporting him through a violent divorce only to find out it was bullshit once she was pregnant. Please let him know, on no uncertain terms, that after his abusive, threatening, sadistic and cruel behavior during her pregnancy, birth and first few weeks of motherhood that he is not welcome in her life, and that the best thing he can do for her and her daughter is to leave them alone forever and focus on healing things with his traumatized wife and neglected children. Please, please tell him that “The Community” no longer “wants to see him step up and be a good father”, but that it instead wants him to back the fuck off and leave them alone.

However you do it is fine by me. A text, a message, an email. Carrier pigeon.

If you don’t like confrontations feel free to just like this post to show your support of Willow and I.

Or delete him.

Or both.

I love you all but your silence is enabling. He reads it as acceptance, and acceptance prevents him from ever learning accountability.

If this community wants to be a community perhaps it ought to find its voice and not just snack on popcorn from the sidelines.

This man has treated people like shit for years and then waxes lyrical about peace, love and mungbeans. Well reading self-help books does not make an evolved man, and fucking everything with a hole in it doesn’t make you a feminist.

How do you know I am not Anonymous Burner? Because I would have proudly emblazoned my name right across the top of this article… and added a whole lot more.

Cradle of MIR Artist Arrested; Do You Have a Picture of Sasha Mironov?

by Whatsblem the Pro

Alexander 'Sasha' Mironov with a model of the MIR space station

Alexander ‘Sasha’ Mironov with a model of the MIR space station


Alexander ‘Sasha’ Mironov, artist behind The Cradle of MIR, is in jail in Los Angeles and needs any photos you may have of him at Burning Man.

The 38-year-old from Moscow, Russia was arrested by the California Highway Patrol at 10:20 PM on October 15th, 2013 on undisclosed felony charges. He was booked at the LAPD Pacific Division station near Los Angeles International Airport, and is currently being held in the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, California, which is part of the Pitchess Detention Center, aka ‘Wayside.’ Mironov has not been granted bail; as a foreign national he may be considered a flight risk, and U.S. Immigration has a hold pending on him.

Mironov’s friends on The Cradle of MIR project are calling for any photographs you may have of him, as they may help provide evidence of the artist’s innocence in the case.

Dim Borisov writes:

WE NEED PHOTOS. Your photos!

If you have a photo that was taken on Friday, August 30, the day of “Cradle of Mir” burn, that has Alex on it PLEASE send it to us as soon as you can! This will serve as evidence for where he was at that moment. We need the originals, with the date the file was created, so it is clear when the photo was taken. The photos should be dated August 30, 2013.

Please email your photo to: mironov.ram@gmail.com

Help us, PLEASE, this is VERY IMPORTANT!!

I can’t speak about any details publicly, as any extra information could lead to complications while the case is ongoing. At time we’re just asking for photos, the rest will be disclosed and put to rest hopefully sooner than later.

We don’t know what Sasha Mironov is accused of, or how guilty or innocent he might be, but with evidence the truth will surely out. . . so if Mironov looks familiar to you, please check your photographs and videos from Burning Man.

Mironov in San Francisco

Mironov in San Francisco

Mironov (left) at the Cradle of MIR build site; Burning Man 2013

Mironov (left) at the Cradle of MIR build site; Burning Man 2013

Mironov4

The Cradle of MIR, Burning Man 2013

The Cradle of MIR, Burning Man 2013

Getting the Last Word: A Year After His Death, a Burner Speaks His Mind

by Whatsblem the Pro

Paul Addis -- PHOTO: SF Weekly

Paul Addis — PHOTO: SF Weekly

It has been a year now since Paul Addis, the man who went to prison for burning the Man early in 2007, leapt to a cruel death under the steel wheels of a BART train at Embarcadero Station in San Francisco.

So much has been said about Addis and his actions; people have expressed some very wide-ranging – and very strongly-held – opinions, calling him insane, a criminal, troubled, brilliant, a genius, a pointed performance artist, a bold rebel, and much more.

Whatever you might think of Addis, the response on the part of the corporation that runs Burning Man was very telling for a lot of people. . . many of whom stopped attending in protest after Addis was convicted and sent to prison on the strength of the testimony supplied by Burning Man’s leadership.

Love him, hate him, or wonder. . . but nobody who knows even part of the story has forgotten, or ever will forget, Paul Addis’ early burn.

There’s a lot we could say about all of it, a year after his suicide. Addis was barred from working in his rather lucrative chosen profession, thanks to his felony conviction for burning the Burning Man, and reduced to whatever minimum-wage jobs he could find as an ex-con on parole. One can only imagine the sense of helplessness and despair that led him to throw his body into the path of an oncoming subway train. Love him, hate him, or wonder, but in the end he was our fellow human being and our fellow burner, and deserving of at least some minimum of our sympathy in his darkest hour.

Spokespeople for the corporation that runs Burning Man – Marian Goodell in particular – have persistently claimed in public that Addis’ conviction was out of their hands, and expressed sadness that he was convicted of a felony serious enough to carry a prison sentence with it. . . but that claim remains one of the most glaring examples of slick, dishonest, corporate-style insincerity on the part of Burning Man’s executives in the event’s history. It doesn’t matter what you think of Paul Addis, who is gone forever. . . but it does matter what you think of the people who brought the hammer down on him. It matters a lot.

In the video below, Paul Addis speaks for himself from beyond the grave about the early burn, the response from those who hold the keys to our kingdom, and the comeuppance he received. We wish his friends and family an easy first anniversary of his death, and good closure going forward.

[Update from ed: 10/31/13] Thanks to Burner Dave for providing a link to radio traffic from the night after Paul Addis lit the Man.